Anyone who begins in the world of fitness ends up discovering that obtaining the expected results requires patience and effort . In fact, there are not a few who quit shortly after starting, hopeless in the early stages as they do not perceive any apparent improvement.
However, science can offer us some clues about the time it will take us to achieve significant muscle gains, taking into account the type of exercise we do, our nutrition and, in general, our particular characteristics.
How do muscles grow?
The first thing that needs to be understood is how muscles grow , something explained in an article published in the specialized medium IDEA Fitness Journa l.
As the authors of this work collect, intense exercise, such as weight lifting, is actually a trauma to the muscle fibers, which in fact causes them damage. In response to this, other satellite muscle cells are activated and try to repair the wound, bonding with each other and increasing the muscle fiber.
This mechanism is also activated through certain hormones that regulate these satellite cells, allowing, among other things, the formation of new capillaries or the repair of muscle damage.
What is the best way to gain muscle?
If the goal is to gain muscle mass or volume, the best way is not through indiscriminate amounts of exercise but rather by targeting a certain amount of regular exercise through a clear strategy. Thus, according to the Mayo Clinic , with two or three weekly sessions of between 20 and 30 minutes of weight lifting should be enough to obtain visible results . However, it is important to work all the major muscle groups.
Specifically, by following this approach, one should have apparent results in a matter of a few weeks or months , depending on various personal factors and the intensity of the exercise (the weight lifted). Before that, you may notice an increased ease in lifting the weight and even an increase in muscle definition.
However, it should be noted that it is important to intersperse the working days for a certain muscle group with rest days , so that the muscles have time to repair and rest. Thus, the National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention recommends avoiding working the same muscle group for two days in a row.
What other factors influence?
There are certain circumstances that can influence the time and effort required to gain muscle. For example, it has been theorized that, taking into account the higher production of testosterone in men, these could show greater gains. However, there are studies, such as one published in The Journals of Gerontology that have shown that the responses to strength training are similar in both genders.
On the other hand, the effect of body size, body composition and hormonal levels of each person is clearer. Specifically, the changes are usually more noticeable for people who have greater body mass at the time of starting workouts.
Another factor is the coincidence of strength training with the aerobic exercise that is performed. Although this form of exercise has traditionally been said to be detrimental when it comes to gaining muscle mass, the reality is that in fact the opposite could happen , as long as aerobic exercise is not excessive, as detailed by research published in Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews . The key, the authors point out, is to carry out sessions of between 30 and 45 minutes in duration during four or five days a week, with an intensity of between 70 and 80% of the cardiac reserve.
And what about diet?
Nutrition is the aspect that most influences the impact that our exercise will have on our muscle gains. In particular, according to the Mayo Clinic, the best results can be obtained by ingesting about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight each day in people over 19 years of age.
These amounts can be obtained with the regular intake of protein-rich products such as beef, lamb, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products; Among the vegetable options, soybeans, legumes, nuts and seeds are a good contribution
Adapt the training to the profile of each one
Exercising is very positive for the body and for health. However, as with so many other things, it is important to do it in a suitable way and with adequate amounts, since otherwise these beneficial effects can be reversed and it is possible to suffer damage as a result of bad habits and habits.
For example, it is important not to stop doing aerobic exercise and to maintain a correct warm-up and stretching routine to avoid injuries; in the same way, dietary adjustments must be made within the framework of a healthy and balanced diet.
This is especially important for people who may have a previous medical condition, as there may be contraindications in specific cases. In any case, it is always best to consult a doctor before adopting any training routine or dietary changes, so that he can warn us about possible particular contraindications and advise us on the safest way to achieve our goals.